Rome-based Southeastern Mills officials snipped the Chamber of Commerce ribbon Thursday, signaling the completion of their new Center for Superior Logistics in the Floyd County Industrial Park.

Vice President for Supply Chain Fran Smith said the new warehouse and distribution facility encompasses 140,000 square feet under one roof, including 20,000 square feet of refrigerated storage, which she termed as “rare and expensive in our industry.”

“It was designed so as to be (adaptable) to just about any kind of food product,” Smith said.

The new logistics center was designed with input from employee groups who will utilize the building. When it starts taking product the week of Oct. 21, it will centralize the storage of material at several sites the company currently leases.

An advantage to the new location is that it eliminates the need to continue leasing back space at its former distribution center on Douglas Street. That location was included in the sale of one of the SEM division’s to Kerry, an Irish baking conglomerate, earlier this year. Smith said SEM was poised for growth and the new logistics center was constructed with the ability to expand.

The new facility, located on Superior Drive in the industrial park, was also designed with safety, for both employees and product in mind, based on input from the different employee groups. That employee input is a significant part of the culture of Southeastern Mills.

“We enjoy the products that will be shipped from here and we are thankful,” said Rome Mayor Bill Collins. Floyd County Commission Chairman Scotty Hancock saluted SEM and the Grizzard family for the decision to expand locally.

“There is so much more that they do behind the scene,” Hancock said.

Rome State Representative Katie Dempsey, R-Rome, reminded a large crowd of community leaders on hand for the ribbon cutting that SEM is a fourth generation family-owned business.

She congratulated SEM for its long commitment to Rome and its ongoing efforts to be a major player in community events.

When the facility opens, it will be home to a staff of at least 35 employees.

The company has first right of refusal on another 30 acres of property, Smith said.

That additional property backs up to an earthen dam that separates the park from Paris Lake on the Floyd County campus of Georgia Highlands College on the western side of Superior Drive.

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